Eagles

49ers' Eric Reid: Malcolm Jenkins 'didn't stand by his word'

usa-eric-reid-malcolm-jenkins.jpg
USA Today Images

49ers' Eric Reid: Malcolm Jenkins 'didn't stand by his word'

San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid says he left The Players Coalition because founder Malcolm Jenkins excluded Colin Kaepernick from meetings, and asked players if they would stop protesting the anthem if the NFL made a charitable donation to causes they support.

"Malcolm did text me this morning asking if we would be comfortable ending our demonstrations if the NFL made a donation," Reid said Wednesday. "At that point, that was the last straw for me. He had a conversation with the NFL. We agreed that multiple people would be part of the conversations with the league so it just wouldn't be him. He didn't stand by his word on that. At no point did we ever communicate an agreement with the NFL to end the protest."

Jenkins, a safety for the Eagles, said he was surprised Reid withdrew from the coalition after having a conversation with him Tuesday night. He said even though they had disagreements, he thought the talk ended on good terms.

"I'm not sure about whether Kaepernick wants to be involved," Jenkins said. "I saw this as an opportunity to create a group of players that could use their voice together to really make some change, and we still have that opportunity. We've been able to go from protests to now speaking with ownership about something that's never been in place before. We're proud of that. And we'll continue to work with whoever wants to be in that conversation."

Reid and Miami Dolphins safety Michael Thomas both sent tweets Wednesday morning saying they were leaving the coalition because they didn't believe Jenkins and former receiver Anquan Boldin, a co-founder, shared their interests.

"I haven't been satisfied with the structure of the coalition or the communication Malcolm has been having with the NFL on his own, speaking on behalf of protesting players when he doesn't protest," Reid said, referring to Jenkins raising his fist instead of kneeling during the anthem. "We communicated these concerns to him numerous times and have had numerous phone calls about it. Our concerns haven't been reflected with how the organization is being run, so I felt like I needed to make a departure from it."

ESPN reported the NFL submitted to players the final draft of a proposal in which the league would contribute nearly $100 million to causes that are important to players in the coalition. Jenkins called it "encouraging" and said he would consider ending his protest if the NFL followed through on its plan.

Reid emphasized it's only a proposal.

"It hasn't been brought to ownership yet. It's not real," he said. "I give kudos to the NFL for wanting to step up and help us with regard to systemic oppression. I question their intent behind it. I personally think they just want the protests to end because it's hurting their bottom line."

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy didn't reveal the nature of the discussions with the players.

"We have had conversations with the players since the summer and those discussions continue. We do not have a comment on specifics of the conversations," McCarthy said.

Kaepernick, who began kneeling during the national anthem before the 2016 season and currently is out of the NFL, did not attend a meeting between players and league representatives in October. Kaepernick has filed a grievance against the NFL alleging he was not signed because of collusion by owners who wanted him out of the league because of the protests.

"Malcolm kicked Colin out of the coalition following the meeting in New York at the beginning of the season," Reid said. "There's a group message. (Jenkins) is the administrator and he took Colin out."

Jenkins said the cause remains the same for all involved.

"I'd be surprised if you heard anything different as far as what they want to get accomplished," Jenkins said. "If you talk to Eric or Mike or any of those guys, if you ask them what they want to get accomplished, they'll say they want to change systematic oppression. They want to provide resources to disenfranchised communities. They want to stop police brutality. All of those things are in the same line, and that message hasn't changed. I just think there might be a disagreement as to how to go about doing it."

Jets linebacker Demario Davis has no problem with leadership.

"The Coalition has been a very solid group, as far as I've been concerned," Davis said. "Everything's been positive. Talks between leadership, which is Anquan and Malcolm, and ownership, and it's been very positive. We hope we make leeway in the negotiations and how we can get things done the best way to help the community."

Nick Foles may not have full protection vs. Giants

injury-report-eagles.jpg

Nick Foles may not have full protection vs. Giants

The Eagles will have a new quarterback this weekend, but they might not be able to protect him as well as they hope. 

Starting left guard Stefen Wisniewski will officially be listed as questionable for Sunday's game because of an ankle injury. 

Wiz had to leave the Rams game in the first half and did not return. He missed practice on Wednesday and was limited on Thursday. 

"We'll see where he's at today," head coach Doug Pederson said on Friday. 

After Wisniewski came out of the Rams game, he was replaced by Chance Warmack, who was then replaced by Isaac Seumalo. 

It sounds like Warmack will have the first chance to play this weekend if Wisniewski can't go. 

"We've worked Chance at that position this week," Pederson said. "Isaac has obviously gotten some reps really at all the positions but that would be the most logical."

Seumalo actually began the season as the team's starting left guard after he won the position in the offseason. From there, Warmack got the first crack at replacing him when he was benched, but Warmack couldn't keep the job, eventually giving way to a rotation before Wisniewski simply took over. The line has been much better since Wiz took over the starting job in Week 3. 

Alshon Jeffery and Steven Means, who both missed Thursday's practice with illnesses, will be back on the practice field on Friday. Both should be fine for this weekend's game. 

The Eagles will practice outside in 28-degree weather on Friday as they prepare for Sunday's outdoor game at MetLife Stadium. 

No word on the condition of the recycling can Jason Kelce kicked inside the bubble after getting cleated on Thursday. At least the outdoor practice will give it another day of rest. 

Lucky for Nick Foles, his go-to guy is back

usa-zach-ertz-nick-foles-eagles.jpg
USA Today Images

Lucky for Nick Foles, his go-to guy is back

Nick Foles won't see many familiar faces when he makes his first start for the Eagles in over three years, but at least one of his go-to receivers is still around.

Foles hasn't been in the lineup for a week, and the Eagles quarterback is already getting reinforcements. Zach Ertz cleared the concussion protocol on Wednesday and is expected to play against the Giants on Sunday, adding a valuable weapon to the offense, and reuniting a dynamic duo in the process.

"I feel good, ready to go," Ertz said Wednesday following his first practice back. "Tough week last week obviously not being able to play, but it was the right decision at the time and I'm excited for this week."

Ertz was a rookie when Foles took over as the starting quarterback in 2013, posting a modest 36 receptions for 469 yards and four touchdowns. Yet Ertz really only began to flourish once the job belonged to Foles permanently.

The fifth-year tight end — perhaps on his way to his first Pro Bowl this season — even caught his first NFL touchdown from Foles.

"That was a long time ago, against the Raiders when he was fricking throwing everyone touchdowns," Ertz said this week. "We had a lot of good games together."

Their connection was almost instantaneous. At the time, Brent Celek was still the starter at tight end and getting the bulk of the snaps. Ertz still managed to catch five touchdowns in the Eagles' remaining nine games, including one against in the Saints in the playoffs. Ertz had five or more receptions three times during that span.

"That's my first year in the league, his second year in the league," Ertz said. "He was playing at an unbelievable level. He's still the same quarterback, and we're excited to have him."

Their rapport continued into 2014. Ertz had 25 receptions for 358 yards with two touchdowns when Foles was lost for the season with a broken collarbone.

Ertz acknowledged a quarterback change at this stage of the season can be difficult. Clearly, It's not uncharted territory, either. Even when Foles finally nailed down the job in '13, it was already Week 9, after weeks of going back and forth with Michael Vick.

It took time for the Eagles to make the right decision under center, but they eventually got it right, and it wound up being a historic season. Foles tied an NFL record with seven touchdown passes in a game against the Raiders, and made NFL history at the end of the season with a 27-to-2 touchdown-to-interception ratio.

The transition from Carson Wentz to Foles may not go that smoothly, but Ertz has reason to feel confident everything will be fine.

"It's definitely not the easiest thing switching quarterbacks, but there's a lot of familiarity with Nick," Ertz said. "The coaches understand what Nick does well. (Eagles coach Doug Pederson) has been with him for a long time.

"With Nick, he throws such an easy ball to catch that there's not a real adjustment period in terms of catching the ball. Some quarterbacks throw a tough ball to catch, but Nick's ball is really easy to catch and it makes it easy for receivers."

Foles already survived his first relief appearance, and that was without Ertz. With the tight end and security blanket inactive against the Rams, Foles was able to lead the Eagles on two scoring drives that ended with field goals, including the game-winner.

Again, that was sans Ertz. Imagine what Foles might be able to do with one of the Eagles' top receivers.

Ertz has 57 receptions for 663 yards and seven touchdowns this season. He was on pace for 1,000 yards and double-digit touchdowns earlier in the campaign but missed a game for the concussion, and another with a hamstring.

Maybe Ertz can still get there over the final three weeks with Foles at the helm. He certainly isn't afraid to push the ball down the field anyway.

"He loves the slinging the ball," Ertz said. "That's what he's been doing his whole career.

"He's a great quarterback. We're excited to have him. I don't think there's anybody else in this situation that we would rather have."

Either way, Foles-to-Ertz is going to feel like a blast from the past. Maybe that connection can help keep the Eagles rolling in December and through the playoffs.